Thursday, July 14, 2016

Don’t Be Willing to Do Anything

As a job seeker, have you made any of the following statements?
  • “I’ll do anything.” 
  • “I’ll take any job.” 
  • “I’m keeping my options open.”
To many people, these statements sound like positive ones, especially if made to potential employers. Right? After all, who wouldn’t want an employee who is willing to do anything?
Don't Be Willing to Do Anything [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Do you have a sharp career focus?

Well, the truth is, most organizations hire workers who can zero in and solve their problems, needs, and challenges. They want employees who can help them prosper, innovate, and grow. 

In employers’ minds, the person who will take any job lacks focus, self-direction, self-knowledge, and creativity. He or she sounds wishy-washy and desperate. Chances are good that such an individual will wait for direction if hired. And most employers don’t have the time, staff, or desire to give that direction. That’s what they want you for.

So determine what you’re good at, what you can solve and contribute, and how you can help companies succeed, stand out, and excel. If you need help in figuring this out, start with My Next Move and mySkillsmyFuture from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Don’t be amorphous in your career. Be a laser. Be a star.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Signs You’re a Passive Job Seeker

5 Signs You're a Passive Job Seeker [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Are you a passive job hunter? Read this post to find out.

Are you having trouble finding a good job? Do you apply for dozens of jobs online and hear nothing back? Do you have little person-to-person contact in your job search? Is your job search dragging on? 

If so, you may be a passive job seeker. You may feel as if you are actively looking for work. But in reality, you are not taking the right actions to get hired.

Here are five signs that you are passive in your job hunt:

  1. Applying for job after job online is your sole job-search method. Online job applications are a key method for applying for jobs. Some companies accept only online applications and do not want you to call or stop by. But online job applications have pitfalls. First, if your skills and experience do not match the job opening, your application may be automatically rejected. Second, if you are applying for many jobs, chances are you are casting too wide a net and are not qualified for all of those jobs. Third, you are missing opportunities to job search in more effective ways, such as networking with people who can connect you with hiring managers or who know of job openings before they are advertised.
  2. Not tailoring your cover letter and resume to each job. Using the same cover letter and same resume for each job opening is easy; it is also passive. Instead, take a few minutes to make sure your job-search materials match the job opening by moving around and adding information about the parts of your background that especially fit the job. This approach will make it easier for employers to see how you fit their needs. Learn more in my post, "Customize Your Resume in 15 Minutes."
  3. Not networking or talking with potential employers. People hire people, so you want to talk with everyone you know who may have connections to help you get in front of employers. Attend professional events, connect with colleagues on social media, and let people know about your job search. For example, at a recent business conference, I saw several job postings on a bulletin board--yes, a physical bulletin board. Consider contacting employers of interest directly, especially smaller employers who may need to hire but do not have HR staffs or technological hiring systems in place. These employers want to find good workers do not have much time or many resources to do so. You will face less competition and may be just what a small employer requires.
  4. Spending just a few hours a week--or less--on your job search. If you are not working now, job searching should be your full-time occupation. Create a schedule of your job-search activities, including applying for jobs, networking, contacting possible employers even if jobs aren’t advertised, researching companies and employers that are growing, and practicing your interview skills.
  5. Not following up on job leads or job applications. Employers often receive many applications for advertised jobs. Following up on your job applications will help you stand out. Look online or call the organization directly to learn the name of the hiring manager if possible. Then send an email or call the person and let him or her know of your interest. If you don't hear back, contact the person again in 7 to 10 days. Be enthusiastic and persistent but not a pest. Or if someone suggests a possible job lead, be sure to follow up even if it seems like a long shot. You never know where your next opportunity will come from.

You may be a passive job hunter now, but the good news is, you can become more active in your search for employment. With an active job hunt, you’ll be more likely to get hired quickly in the right job.

Image courtesy of EA at